In Asian medicine, there are actually five seasons, the fifth being Late Summer. While Summer is the time of growth, Late Summer is the time of ripening and harvest. If all has gone well, it is a time of abundance and gathering. Late Summer occurs roughly between mid-August and the first frost. This time of year relates to the Earth element and the Spleen and Stomach organ systems. Thus, the focus of Earth and Late Summer is about taking in and assimilating nourishment on all levels of life including our minds and our spirits. It is about knowing how to really care for ourselves and others. Problems associated with malfunctioning Spleen and Stomach meridians can include digestive problems, eating disorders, lethargy, excessive bruising, organ prolapse, weak muscles, candida, excessive thinking, and inability to give and receive nurturing.
Suggestions for having a meaningful late summer
- Notice how you feel about home: Where do you feel at home? Are you good at making yourself at home? Think of what you can do to bring a greater quality of peace, joy and contentment to the place where you live.
- Find a new way to take care of yourself: Allow yourself to know what would be healing for you-then make it happen. Knowing how to nurture yourself is essential to your health.
- Notice when you are hungry and what you are hungry for. Sometimes hunger is not for food, but speaks of an emotional or spiritual emptiness. If you feel such emptiness, identify that and seek the appropriate ‘food.’
- Eat without hurry in a calm atmosphere, and while sitting at a table. Chew your food well. Remember the saying ‘eat your liquids and drink your food.’ Listen to light, enjoyable music if you like but avoid reading while you eat.
- Be physically active: exercise relieves stagnation, regulates weight, and gives good tone to muscles and flesh. It also helps free you from excessive thought and worry, easing nervous tension.
- Be grateful for all you have. Remind yourself of this each night before you go to sleep. Find ways to share yourself and your gifts with others. Like nature, be bountiful!!